Movies are an art form that will endure forever. Why? Well, there are a lot of reasons, but mainly, because we as humans need to connect with something. Movies help us understand, especially those movies about relationships.
They help you see the circumstances of other lovers and see the good and bad points and how decisions can affect what happens in relationships.
By watching those characters’ various ups and downs, battles and achievements we can somehow empathize and learn from those moments, even if they aren’t our own. The phrase “You know that scene in ________, when ________ happens?” starts many conversations when someone is trying to convey how they feel.
So in the spirit of learning, here’s a list of the movies about relationships that every guy should see and why:
1) Two for the road
Yes it’s an old movie and yes it sounds like the name of a toy that one would find in the blinking-light aisle of a subpar sex shop, BUT it’s a damn good film. I blame its lack of major fame to Albert Finney’s casting (I don’t understand that either). It’s a film about finding out that what you want may not be what you need and that what you need may someday be what you want and what you wanted all along may have been there all the time. Got all that? The point is, as a married or dating couple, you’ll grow, you’ll intertwine and then you’ll break your back trying to untwine. When it comes down to it, if you love each other, it’ll fester through, even amid the words “bitch”, “bastard” and “divorce”.
2) Kramer v. Kramer
This film shows a lot about the relationship between a father and son, but one of the most prominent relationships is only seen for the first few and the last few minutes. Being an adult takes a lot of understanding and a lot of forgiving, especially forgiving the things you can’t understand. And more often than not, you’ll have to be forgiven or forgive. And it will be hard. This film shows a terribly high level of forgiveness when things don’t work out, and how tough it is to forgive and move on–something all couples need to be aware of.
3) Forgetting Sarah Marshall
This is on most “break up movie” lists but it’s actually a film that couples would do well to watch. It also has the added bonus of being incredibly funny. Sometimes when we are in a serious relationship we tend to let ourselves go and take for granted what our spouse or significant other loved about us in the beginning. Sometimes this can be detrimental, but it’s always worth it to analyze how you yourself have let someone down before you begin blaming the other person.
4 ) Penny Serenade
The film is told through a series of records that correlate with memories showing a couple go through the most detrimental of circumstances. The women will feel like the guy is reckless, the men will feel that the wife is annoying and unnecessarily unhappy. Just like real life, what we accumulate distracts us and we drive ourselves apart through tragedy and heartache, but if we remember what brought us there to begin with, maybe we could find a way to stay.
5) An Affair to Remember
Talk about sacrifice, the main characters give up their major comforts and separate for a significant amount of time in order to become self-sufficient human beings for each other. However, the plan to meet goes to absolute poop and things begin to look very bleak due to well intentions but misinterpreted data. It stays bleak all the way up until the end, all the way up until the last minute; that’s sometimes how it works in real life too. What one should take from this film is that you can never really understand another person completely and love is not about forcing yourself to understand another person, but loving them in spite of dire circumstances and outside of understanding.
6) Urban Cowboy
Yes, they may seem like a couple of hicks from Oklahoma, but this is perhaps the most honest portrayal of how despairing a relationship can get. There’s jealousy, immaturity, misunderstanding, vicious rebounds and pride. It culminates in one of the most heart wrenching endings in cinema. Apologies are all too rare in relationships, especially those where the past is a loaded gun that’s often aimed at each other’s heads. Love is all about tossing that gun away.
7) Mary and Max
This relationship isn’t about a couple per se, but it is a film that every person in a relationship should see. It’s about understanding, empathy and mistakes. I’d be willing to bet that if anyone had ever really been a true friend, they’d find it much easier to be in a relationship. Empathy is something that escapes even the most emotionally mature person sometimes. Seeing it in this escalated setting is truly inspirational, and simple.
8) Rabbit Hole
When we start out in a relationship we subconsciously fall under the assumption that nothing is ever going to burst that bubble. Unfortunately, something usually does. This movie focuses on what may be one of the worst things for a couple to go through—the loss of their only child, at a young age. It’s an in-depth, numbing and gritty look at the challenges that a couple can face when they come in unfortunate contact with a harrowing situation. It also exemplifies how men and women’s separate reactions can exacerbate bad circumstances and misunderstandings.
Not only do the preceding films present you with an in-depth look at relationships, they are also great films to have in your cinematic arsenal. So enjoy a movie and get some life lessons in the process. Your significant other will appreciate it and you will gain some great advice, whether you realize you are or not.